Over the past few weeks we have looked at the All-Yankees teams from various time periods in the 21st century. We looked at the best individual seasons from 2002-2008 aka the all-offense no pitching era and the 2009-2016 era aka the new stadium pre-Baby Bombers era. Today, we’ll look at the most recent Yankees teams from 2017-2019, which is effectively the Baby Bomber era. This era is so exciting because it’s the current team that is going to crush baseball whenever we get it back, and is a reminder of how good the team has been the past few years.
C: 2017 Gary Sanchez – .278/.345/.531, 33 HR, 131 wRC+, 4.3 WAR
El Gary followed up his “shoulda won ROY” 2016 with an amazing 2017. 33 HR from a catcher, and one who *ahem* also provides positive value defensively is incredible. To all the Rominites out there, let me be clear: Gary Sanchez is better at everything I want from my catcher than Austin Romine is.
1B: 2018 Luke Voit – .333/.405/.689, 14 HR, 195 wRC+, 1.9 WAR
Okay, so this one is weird. The actual highest WAR for a 1B in the post-Tex era is 2017 Chase Headley with 2.0 WAR but I can’t in good conscience choose that. Luke Voit, in 39 games in 2018, was so ridiculously good that he outproduced his entire 2019-hernia-marred season. I’m looking for big things out of Louis whenever baseball resumes.
2B: 2019 DJ LeMahieu – .327/.375/.518, 26 HR, 136 wRC+, 5.4 WAR
Okay, so this is an odd choice because 2019 LeMahieu actually mostly played other positions. However, 2B is his best position and that’s where I’m putting him for this team. Plus I’m thinking of this exercise as future-focused and that’s where DJ is going to do what DJ does for the next (hopefully) 117 years. Because you just know he won’t age one bit.
SS: 2018 Didi Gregorius – .268/.335/.494, 27 HR, 122 wRC+, 4.7 WAR
Sir Didi was a fan favorite during his years in pinstripes which is truly remarkable considering who he was replacing. Never forget how insanely hot he started this season and even got a road standing ovation in Anaheim.
Nobody, and I mean nobody, saw the Gio breakout coming. Gio da gawd amazed at the plate and in the field with his amazing diving plays. The 27-year-old journeyman is exactly why people hate the Yankees and that is why I love him.
GardyB is the only player who was eligible for all 3 of these lists, and his 2019 makes the cut here. His graceful transition these past years from a speedster into a guy who somehow hits 28 homeruns has been fantastic. #LetBrettBang
Man, Hicks is gonna be the first player in MLB history to have Tommy John surgery and not miss a single game played, isn’t he? The injuries suck, but when Hicks is healthy he is incredible to watch. A centerfielder with power, patience, and a canon is truly something to behold.
Each list had one predetermined season. The 2002-2008 had 2007 ARod. The 2009-2016 had 2014 Dellin (though maybe only I feel that way). This list has 2017 Judge who *clears throat to yell at the heavens* SHOULD HAVE WON MVP THAT YEAR! After making some swing changes, Judge morphed into the behemoth and face of the franchise that I hoped he could be. He is the future captain and by far the best player on the Yankees.
Stanton also gets a bad rap because of injuries, but he is a phenomenal player. In 2018, he battled through a hamstring injury to play every day and was the one constant in the summer 2018 lineup. I’m looking forward to huge things from Big G soon as baseball comes back.
Okay so I didn’t do this for either of the other teams, but there’s no way in hell I could leave 2019 Gleyber off this list. He and Judge are both cornerstone franchise players, and I could honestly see him being the next great Yankee superstar. 38 homeruns at the age of 23? That’s crazy. And as a shortstop moving forward? That’s MVP territory right there.
SP: 2017 Luis Severino – 193.1 IP, 10.71 K/9, 2.98 ERA, 3.07 FIP, 5.6 WAR
This one was easy. 2017-2018 Sevy was straight up nasty, a top 10 pitcher in baseball easily. Hope he comes back well from Tommy John so he and Gerrit Cole can form the best 1-2 in baseball.
RP: 2017 Chad Green – 67 IP, 13.43 K/9, 1.61 ERA, 1.75 FIP, 2.3 WAR
This was multi-inning Chad Green at his finest which is the ultimate bullpen weapon. Those 67 innings came in just 39 games. The Baby Bombers aren’t known for long starts, and having a guy like Green to come in to pitch innings 5-7 has been huge for this team. Although he doesn’t have the velocity of Chapman, the sinker of Britton, or the nasty slider of Otto, Green gets it done and has been the best Yankee reliever the past few years.
It’s so cool how new players shined each year. In 2017, we had the Judge, Sanchez, Green, and Sevy breakouts. And in 2019 we had Gleyber and Gio. Then in 2018 Hicks and Stanton were both awesome. If the Yankees can get all these guys healthy, somehow, the league doesn’t stand a chance.